By Angie McFarren, Homeschool Consultant
James Stobaugh’s Literature Series
James Stobaugh released his new high school literature series in November 2012 with Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group, as the publisher. You must know about these literature courses. Let me tell you what I discovered inside these texts.
First, let me introduce you to Mr. Stobaugh. He and his wife are veteran homeschool parents. Mr. Stobaugh possesses numerous academic diplomas. He is also an ordained pastor and a SAT coach. In addition, he and his wife are the owners of For Such a Time as This. The mission statement for their company is “To prepare thoughtful Christians to be world changers.”
James Stobaugh’s Literature Series includes American Literature, British Literature, and World Literature. It is best the high school student take the courses in the order shown but it is not mandatory to do so. The courses are primarily for 10th grade and up.
James Stobaugh’s Literature Series are rigorous college prep courses requiring critical thinking. The student will complete the courses independently, which I believe is essential for a high school student to learn as preparation for college academics.
Each text provides a full year’s worth of material with 34 chapters each. The student will do more than just read great literary works and write a report. The student will complete five lessons, an essay, and an exam per chapter.
The courses require a considerable amount of reading. In example, the student will read over 30 literary works for the British Literature course. The student needs to read the books in advance in order to prepare for the next chapter. The author suggests the student read the books during the summer prior to taking the courses. I totally agree. Even though it may be a challenge to have your student to do so, it will be to the student’s advantage. He or she may find reading War and Peace in one week a daunting task.
Each chapter in James Stobaugh’s Literature Series begins with first thoughts and learning objectives. Mr. Stobaugh provides background information on the period surrounding the literary works, in example the Middle Ages. He also provides background information on the authors. I found the tidbits of information on the authors quite interesting. For example, in the World Literature text on page 435 it talks about Selma Lagerlöf wrote a “…geography reader for the public schools.”
The daily assignments consist of answering questions called warm-ups. A number of which are thought-provoking questions requiring the student to explain or defend his or her answers. An example of a warm-up found on page 120 in the British Literature text is “Analyze the primary metaphor that Katherine Philips explores in this poem and how this metaphor enhances the poem.” Another example is on page 432 in the same text, “What is Sayers’ thesis of this essay?”
The student will also complete daily concept builders. These pertain to inference, setting, character profiles, active reading, and more.
James Stobaugh’s Literature Series has the student complete an essay for each chapter. Drum roll please. Because of the essay component, the student will receive two high school credits for each of Mr. Stobaugh’s literature courses! Not only does the student fulfill the English credit, he or she also receives an elective credit.
A teacher’s manual is available for each course and I strongly recommend you purchasing it. The manual contains the answers to the warm-ups, concept builders, and tests. Also included, are three options for essay writing for each chapter.
The manuals are three-punched and loose leaf. This was a bit disappointing to me since the manual needs a binder. However, it will make it easier to copy the tests.
The individual student texts sell for $34.99 and the teacher’s manuals are $19.99 each. You also have the option of ordering the entire three-year curriculum with teacher’s manuals, which costs $164.94
I am very impressed with James Stobaugh’s Literature Series and highly recommend this curriculum. These courses will prepare your student for college-level reading.
There is more to discover in these literature courses. You will find more information in my upcoming American Literature review.
New Leaf Publishing Group provided me with a free copy of James Stobaugh’s Literature Series in exchange for an honest review. Please read the disclaimer shown below.
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